Eight-part Italian mystery series ‘Nero Wolfe’ is now streaming only on MHz Choice!

Now Streaming!

Move over, MHz Choice investigators – we realize you’re an illustrious, iconoclastic group. The best of the best, from all over Europe. You include the likes of Detective Montalbano, Saga from The Bridge, Kurt Wallander, Inspector Maigret, Guido Brunetti, Martin Beck, Klaus Borowski, Ballauf and Schenk, Maria Wern….  you’re a big group. You’ve worked long hours, risked your lives, strained your relationships and gotten your hearts broken by various cases, You’ve earned your right to be in our hall of fame. But this is one of those times we need to add to your ranks. There’s a new guy in town and some things we need to tell you. Like, he’s a doozy. Meet American expat Nero Wolfe.

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Francesco Pannofino stars as Nero Wolfe

He’s smart.  Nero Wolfe got kicked out of the US because the FBI was threatened by his ability. How’s that for starters?

He’s as eccentric as some of you. Nero Wolfe doesn’t leave his house, hangs around in his greenhouse with his orchids six hours a day and is OK with humanity but doesn’t like people… especially women. He’s a gourmand who consumes only high-end foods, with one exception – beer. His most common verbal response is a long, low grunt. For fun, be sure to catch him in his yellow pajamas or bright gardening apron.

You think you got a backstory? Let’s just say his is tortured. Check out episode 8, ‘A Pair of Swords’. The guy did have a dramatic wartime love affair with a woman but there were… complications.

He won’t talk while he’s eating. Hear that, Salvo? Nero’s your soul mate in this. For you both, mealtimes are moments of hushed worship. God help us if either one of you ever encounters chemically processed food. 

You think you got a nice backdrop for your stories? Produced by RAI, Nero Wolfe takes place in Rome during the ‘50s. Talk about a great period for clothing and cars!  Fantastic musical scoring. Outstanding ensemble cast, with Nero Wolfe played by Francesco Pannofino, who looks like he could be John Goodman’s Italian cousin. Nero dresses to the nines in tailored clothing, and could have a second career modeling for big and tall stores.

So people, relax. You’re all brilliant, intuitive, amazing detectives. There’s plenty of love for each of you among the fans. We adore watching you catch criminals over and over again, we really do. Just skooch over to make room for Nero on the bench. Um, more. He’s a big guy. Here’s an introductory clip of his arrival to town:

Deep Background
Nero Wolfe is the brainchild of Rex Stout, a prolific American mystery writer who wrote 33 novels and 39 novellas about Nero and his assistant, Archie Goodwin between the years of 1934 and 1975. Stout first presented his super-human investigator in the 1934 novel ‘Fer-de-Lance’, which the MHz Choice episode, ‘Snake Track’ is based on. Sales for ‘Fer-de-Lance’ skyrocketed, and the subsequent novels were all bestsellers. Besides writing fiction, Stout took active part in civic affairs throughout his life, as a political and social thinker and writer. He served in the US Navy between 1906 and 1908, and during WWII he contributed to the war effort as a propaganda writer, radio host and volunteer coordinator for other writers. After the war, he continued writing Nero Wolfe novels, which earned him multiple awards and accolades from mystery writers around the world. During this period he also served as president of the Authors Guild and Mystery Writers of America and received the Grand Master Award from the latter. Into the ‘60s and ‘70s, he was popular on the radio/talk show/magazine interview circuit.

Like his literary creation, Stout was larger than life. He lived to the age of 89 and published his last book ‘A Family Affair’ during the last year of his life. Enthusiasm for his work still runs strong, and there’s an active group based in New York called The Wolfe Pack that meets regularly, publishes a journal twice a year and boasts membership from around the world.

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